Power to X: How Nanotechnology Converts Solar Energy to Industrial Chemical

The Nano Research Society, Faculty of Engineering, University of Indonesia (FTUI) again held online lecture 2 with the theme “Power to X: How Nanotechnology Converts Solar Energy to Industrial Chemical”. The online lecture which was held on Friday (29/7) featured a scientist from the Austrian Institute of Technology, Dr. Rachmat Adhi Wibowo, M.Sc. He has expertise in materials design and analysis of solar energy as a fuel.

“Global warming is a threat to humans in this century. The great impact is increasingly felt by mankind from day to day. One of the effects of global warming is melting glaciers in Austria’s icebergs. The melting of this ice will also have an impact on sea level rise. If traced back, the melting of the ice is caused by the rising temperature of the earth’s surface,” said Dr. Rachmat in his presentation.

From this climatic phenomenon, it can be said that the earth has received a lot of light from the sun. Therefore, sunlight can be used as solar energy and can provide benefits for humans.

“As we all know, solar energy is needed in photosynthesis. However, at this time we can carry out artificial photosynthesis by converting solar energy into chemical form. This form will be used in artificial photosynthesis,” said Dr. Rachmat.

This conversion process is called Power-to-X. Power-to-X is several conversions, energy storage, and electrical conversion paths that use excess power. This conversion is aided by Nanotechnology to manipulate materials at the atomic and molecular scales.

“In the transition to a fossil-free society, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind play an important role. In this context, it is very important to be able to store energy, so that we can also use it when the sun is not shining and there is no wind. In addition, parts of our transportation and manufacturing industries are not electrified, but require us to convert electricity into something else,” explained Dr. Grace.

Power-to-X can secure fuel for heavy transport, ships, trucks, and planes that cannot use electricity and batteries. In addition, Power-to-X is essential to ensure the production of many things currently produced from fossil resources, such as pharmaceuticals, plastics, and paints.

In addition, it should be noted that Power-to-X has a material issue that the materials engineer must resolve. Due to the nature of large-scale climate change impacts, these materials need to be: 1) abundant in the earth and not rare, in the form of nanomaterials so that they are more widely absorbed, materials can be improved and processed properly.


Public Communication Bureau
Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia